Why Are Electric Scooters So Expensive? [Research Has The Answer]

“Why are electric scooters so expensive?” – this is one of the most common questions I hear from friends and acquaintances looking to buy their first electric scooter. In this guide, we will answer that question in depth.

Why are electric scooters so expensive?

Electric scooters are expensive because they are a new technology that is still heavily researched and improved. Battery research and development costs are one of the main reasons. Over time, as demand for scooters increases, and as new competitors enter the market, scooters are getting cheaper.

A closeup of the Dualtron Storm Limited electric scooter

Electric scooter popularity is rising

Electric scooters are now common in many big cities, transforming from niche hobby items to mainstream transportation (see my guide on the complete electric scooter history if you want to have your mind blown by how far scooters have come).

Their usage reduces traffic congestion and enhances efficiency, contributing to their increasing popularity each year.

Their popularity is currently at an all-time high, with a surprising surge during the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the appeal of efficient, personal, safe, and sanitized transport.

The graph reveals a significant popularity increase since early 2015.

electric scooter popularity over time in google trends
Electric scooter popularity on Google Trends is clearly on the rise and at an all-time high

While there are spikes because of seasonality (giving an electric scooter as a gift is a popular and still original holiday idea, and naturally they are more popular during the summer), the trend is clearly on the rise.

Are electric scooters getting cheaper?

As demand rises, electric scooter prices fall.

The top 4 popular models all show a consistent downward trend, with an overall 24.76% price reduction since 2018. As more models enter the market, competition is expected to push prices lower, continuing this trend.

Electric scooterPrice in 2018Price in 2019Price in 2020Price reduction
Ninebot ES1$400$500$34912.75%
Ninebot ES4$1000$800$69930%
Xiaomi M365$650$550$5997.69%
Glion Dolly$770$700$42944.28%
GoTrax GXL Commuter$430$320$37013.95%
chart showing price movement of Ninebot ES1 electric scooter over time
Ninebot ES1 price over time
chart showing price movement of Ninebot ES4 electric scooter over time
Ninebot ES4 price over time
chart showing price movement of Xiaomi M365 electric scooter over time
Xiaomi M365 price over time
chart showing price movement of Glion Dolly electric scooter over time
Glion Dolly price over time
chart showing price movement of Gotrax GXL V1 electric scooter over time
Gotrax GXL Commuter price over time

Is the electric scooter battery cost going down?

The main reason electric scooters are expensive is the battery price. They are by far the most volatile, the most untested piece in the electric scooter.

Research and development costs are still the biggest expense in electric scooter design and production.

But there is good news here.

Battery prices are going down as well (we have Elon Musk working on it after all). That is only good news for electric scooter owners.

YearBattery price ($/kWh)
Lithium-ion battery prices over time
graph chart showing electric battery price steadily going down over time
Graph source

The battery price dropped nearly 7 times from 2010 to 2018.

Growing demand and falling battery prices will make electric scooters more affordable. Quality and performance will also improve, as evident when comparing models from 10 years ago to today.

How much do electric scooters cost?

Electric scooter prices range from $149 to $7400, but the average price across all models is $1194.

Price is subject to change all the time, but we can easily draw some numbers to reach a good approximation of the average. We do exactly that in our full electric scooter price guide.

How much does a good electric scooter cost?

A good electric scooter costs $1030 on average, with prices ranging from $550 to over $1500.

The answer is derived from a complete research on the topic.

We define a good scooter as one having at least 15 mi / 25 km of range, top speed of at least 15 mph / 25 kmh, 300 Wh of battery, 300 Watts of power, at least some IP rating, and coming from a reputable brand and manufacturer.

How much does it cost to build an electric scooter?

DIY electric scooter

The manufacturing cost of building an electric scooter unit depends on brand, infrastructure, and labor costs.

However, this information is not particularly useful for end consumers. When I contacted 7 well-known manufacturers, they all declined to share this closely guarded secret.

It’s clear that profit margins on lower-priced, mass-produced scooters are significantly lower than on high-end models.

Budget brands can sell scooters for $200 or less due to cheaper materials and production methods

Some exceptions exist, like Xiaomi, a major electronics company with the resources and experience to mass-produce high-quality models while maintaining affordability, as seen with the Xiaomi M365 Pro.

In contrast, the Rion Thrust costs $10,000 per unit, and it’s made on-demand, with production starting after you order.

Typically, it takes a year for production, with an additional delivery cost of $300-$600. It’s the fastest electric scooter and one of the most expensive electric scooters available.

In conclusion, the cost of building a scooter usually correlates with its retail price.

Some individuals, like Albert Nario, take on the challenge of building their own electric scooters from scratch, showcasing impressive technical expertise while using parts that likely cost a few hundred dollars in total.

Breaking down the cost of an electric scooter

The battery isn’t the only reason that electric scooters are so expensive.

These are the other important components that are influencing the price of electric scooters.

  • Electric motor
    added cost: 10%
    A 1000W motor, compared to a 500W one, doubles the cost while offering higher speed, better hill climbing, increased load capacity, and a slightly longer range and brushless hub motors, pricier than brushed DC motors.
  • Electric charger
    added cost: 10%
    Chargers come in various models with differing power, safety, charging speed and those chargers with robust safety mechanisms and better speed are more expensive.
  • Frame construction
    added cost: 8%
    The frame holds everything together – motor, wheels, suspension, handlebars and for most electric scooters is made of industrial-grade aluminum alloy, carbon fiber, or a combination of both.
  • Wheels and tire types
    added cost: 5%
    Scooter wheel expenses depend on factors like wheel size, polyurethane attributes, core type, and bearings, the same is true for tires that come as solid or pneumatic(which are more expensive).
  • Handlebars and led display
    added cost: 10-15%
    A quality handlebar with ergonomic grips and intuitive controls enhances scooter performance and premium scooters feature silicone grips for superior handling.
  • LED lights
    added cost: 10-15%
    Electric scooters typically include LED lights and there are premium options add deck lights for style and visibility.
  • Brakes
    added cost: 10%
    High-end scooters feature robust braking systems, combining mechanical disc brakes with foot and electronic brakes for enhanced stopping power.
  • Suspension
    added cost: 10%
    While budget scooters lack suspension, high-performance models boast coil-over-hydraulic suspension for a smoother ride on varied terrain.
  • Shipping costs
    added cost: 20%
    Electric scooters are usually manufactured elsewhere and need to be shipped to the selling country, incurring shipping costs that impact the final price.

Are electric scooters a good investment?

Electric scooters are a great investment. Many models will pay themselves off during the first year through savings on public transport and gas.

That’s why people often buy expensive scooters as well. Expensive scooters pay for themselves and offer excellent performance.

They’re ideal for commuters, helping avoid traffic and reduce stress. Charging electric scooters is almost free, averaging just 3 cents per full charge or less than $10 for a year.

What is the cheapest electric scooter?

GoTrax GXL V2 Commuter electric scooter

The most affordable adult electric scooter is the GoTrax GXL V2 Commuter, priced at just $349.

Cheaper options exist, they are typically designed for kids and can’t support riders over 120 lbs / 55 kg.

To learn more about the cheapest electric scooters today, check out the guide here.

Consider used electric scooters as a budget-friendly option, even if your budget is below $200. You can explore the EScooterNerds used scooter marketplace and the guide on how to buy a used electric scooter for more information.

What is the most expensive electric scooter?

A closeup of the Rion Thrust electric scooter

Currently, the most expensive electric scooter in the world is the Rion Thrust. The scooter costs an astonishing $10000, and delivery costs an additional $300 in the USA, and $600 internationally.

Check out my guide on the most expensive scooters, or watch my video on the same topic.

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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
My name is Matt Trajkovski. I love electric scooters, and electric vehicles in general. I like doing a lot of testing, reviewing, and research on various electric scooter models and brands, following our proprietary rigorous editorial and testing process developed here at EScooterNerds, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience. All of the content published on this blog goes through a rigorous review and editorial process, and our product reviews not only include the hands-on experience of our own team members, but the experience of our audience members as well. My goal is to provide you with the best information about electric scooters possible. You can see all of my posts in my articles archive.